Malawi police brutality and excessive use of force to a suspect has been faulted after an autoposy report conducted by pathologist Charles Dzamalala concluded that cops in Ntcheu assaulted Zakaria Malata, 49 to death in a bid to obtain a confession of guilt.
Malata was arrested on June 8, 2016 over allegations of stealing 12 bags of maize and was caged at Senzani police station.
His relation Lawrence Chakakala Chaziya told the paper that before his death at Ntcheu District Hospital, he told him that he was assaulted by police officers identified as Sub-Inspector Chimoto, Constable Tonza and Constable Kachigamba.
In his autoposy report dated July 11, 2016 Dzamalala stated that Malata’s death was unnatural.
“Death was due to respiratory failure due to some pulmonary congestion mostly probably following episodes of suffocation…. The Traunatic injuries demonstrated in different tissues of the body further render support to this opinion,” Dzamalala stated in his report.
He indictaed that Malata’s body had remarkable fresh injuries in different tissues and parts.
The deceased, according to Dzamalala’s report, had a fracture-dislocaton of the left wrist joint with other injuries like bruises and scratches to the left and right upper and lowe limbs.
National Police spokesman Nicholos Gondwa said he was yet to peruse through the report and declined to comment.
When Malawi flagship daily newspaper, The Daily Times reported about the death of Malata, the paper published an editorial comment condemning police brutality, stating that the Ntcheu matter is a “tip of the iceberg” as similar incidents might go unreported across the country.
The paper said police brutality was similar to mob justice, saying every person deserves a fair trial and that it is only the courts that prove one guilty or not.
The daily described the development as “worrisome”, saying police officers must conduct in a manner in which every member of the society can trust them.
The paper urges authorities to crack down on police brutality and punish those suspected of torture or ill treatment of suspects.
“We cannot afford to have a country where police officers are happy to eliminate the lives of the citizens,” the paper said.
Spokesperson of Ntcheu Police station Gift Matewere is quoted saying the police officers mentioned were called for “interrogations.”
Meanwhile, Chaziya said the deceased family will sue police.
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